Do You Read Financial Advice But Never Act on Them?

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It’s hard to believe when I actually think about how long the site’s been around but has been dishing out financial advice for almost 14 years now. In a few short weeks, that’s 168 months of savings for those who followed us from the beginning.

You know, try to live below your means, build an emergency fund to weather possible storms, and invest the rest. I know some of the advice seems pretty obvious sometimes. I mean, who doesn’t know that cutting out your cable and joining a service like Netflix is going to save you money by now? But then again, how many of you actually take the time to implement what we preach here on a weekly basis?

I was just talking to my friend about his Netflix account he signed up for about 10 years ago. He was thanking me because I was the one who got him to cut cable and switch to streaming instead back when doing so wasn’t as accepted as it is today. His cable bill was about $120 a month back then. By saving $110 a month and $1,320 a year, it doesn’t take a genius to realize that he’s saved $13,200 already.

I told him there’s no need to thank me because I had pretty much similar savings too. That’s over $25,000 between the pair of us. Wow. Did you follow our advice to cut out cable when we first told you about Netflix? If not, is the sports channel or whatever show you can’t give up worth $13,200 to you?

I thought it would be fun to see just how much the savings were if you followed us and made some other simple changes to your services. So let’s see…

Huge Savings with Cell Phone Plans Too

I switched to Ting in October 2016 from AT&T. Ting just rents the major carrier’s network capacity so the reception is exactly the same as the big boys. I use the Verizon network now but I could also change it to Sprint or T-Mobile if I wanted to at any time. My monthly bill used to be about $120 for Emma and me and it now fluctuates between $25 to $45, but it’s in the 30s most of the time. let’s say my bill averages $40 a month. That means I’ve saved $80 a month for 57 months now, or $4,560.

Do you see the power of acting on these advices and not brushing them off yet?

Insurance Policies, Internet Plans, and More

I’m lumping these in together because the savings doesn’t come so much from a specific vendor you need to switch to. The real savings comes by religiously calling your existing provider and asking him to extend the new customer discount. I’m using AT&T for my internet service and the $10 a month discount just gets renewed forever as long as you are willing to call them up and ask for it before the 12 months expire.

I’ve been doing it for at least 15 years. The discounts varied from $10 to $15 over the years of switching from DSL to Fiber, but the savings are $1,800 even at $10 a month for 15 years.

Ditto with my car insurance and homeowner’s insurance. I just switched all my providers a couple of months ago and I saved 20% and got double the coverage on my car insurance policies. That’s $600 a year. I’ve really only been pricing out different policies for the past ten so let’s just say I’ve saved $6,000. Others could easily be saving this way for two or three decades versus others who hide behind their laziness in the name of “loyalty.”

I Saved and Invested All That Money Too

I saved on many other services (health insurance comes to mind), but let’s just stop the list now because we would be here for a while if I list out every single thing I’ve saved money on through the years. I mean, just these four things saved me $25,560.

Fortunately, I wasn’t living paycheck to paycheck. That meant that this money was able to be put into the stock market. What’s even more fortunate was that the past decade has been one of the best decades for stock market returns. The S&P 500 was around 1,250 in 2011, and around 2,000 in 2016.

With the savings having been invested for an average of five to seven years, each dollar has at least more than doubled. With dividends and such added on, it’s not a stretch to say that $25,560 in the market is worth at least $75,000 by now. It’s even possible that this figure is in the six figures if we really do the calculation.

Of course, you’d have to be invested in a low-cost S&P 500 fund to reap those rewards. For those in high turnover high expense ratio funds that are paying high taxes year in and year out, that’s another area where you might see significant savings if you can switch without significant tax consequences.

Have You Missed Out?

You’d be considered rich if you had six figures in a taxable account, but it’s not hard for anyone in the 40s to amass that sum as you can see.

All you had to do was get off your butt and do something about those services you pay for every single month.

The good news for those who felt like they missed out is that it’s not too late. You missed out on the last decade, sure, but there are plenty of decades ahead. Even if stock returns aren’t good, you are still saving a significant sum. Heck. You save $25,000 a decade from now even if stock returns go nowhere.

I’m in my early 40s. By the time I’m 80, the savings will turn into the millions. It’s hard to imagine that a few lifestyle changes that I don’t really think about anymore can turn into a seven-figure sum one day, but the math is irrefutable.

Are you still brushing these common-sense money-saving tips and not acting on them? Do you realize how much it’s costing you?

Money Saving Tip: An incredibly effective way to save more is to reduce your monthly Internet and TV costs. Click here for the current Verizon FiOS promotion codes and promos to see if you can save more money every month from now on.

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  • J. Money says:

    14 years!! OG!

  • Beau W. says:

    Am I using all the tips I read? Dam right I am! All the money changes that have helped me get my finances together came from either my Pop or all the financial blogs I read. I’ve gathered knowledge that I would never gotten if I never knew was available.

    • David @ says:

      Good for you Beau. Did you ever get around to trying Ting out? If you don’t need your phone for your job much, then you really should give the service a go!

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